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Miranda Kay Levy from "Project Runway" is one of the contestants in Season 12 of the Lifetime reality fashion design competition series. She is a 29-year-old designer who is currently living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but grew up in Wilton, Wisconsin.

Here is an interview with Miranda Kay Levy:

Describe your family:

My father was in the military and my mother was a stay-at-home mom. We grew up with very little, but my mom was very creative, and my dad worked hard to make sure we always had
Miranda Kay Levy in "Project Runway 12"
Miranda Kay Levy Project Runway 12
enough money for groceries, so my mom could make us a home-cooked meal every night. A lot of family tension strained my parents' relationship, which resulted in their divorce when I was in high school. The fortunate outcome of this was a closer bond between my two younger brothers and me. Being the oldest, I felt that Dustin and Chris both became my responsibility. My mom later remarried and had my little sister Kaitlyn, who is the coolest gal ever! My youngest brother Dustin passed away in a car accident three years ago. Losing him has been one of the hardest experiences of my life. He was my biggest fan, but would tease me that if I couldn't make it as a designer that I could still get a job with him at McDonald's. He always told me that he was proud of me, like a child to a parent, and I honestly never knew how much I relied on his encouragement. I promised him that I would be showing my work in NYC by the time I was 30. I hope that I can prove him right, because I am not cut out for working in fast food. Through the tragedy, my humorous and loving memories of him continue to push me to live each and every day to the fullest, and fully appreciate the people in my life that I care about most. I have learned to slow down enough to enjoy the relationships that I have. I have been fortunate to have my boyfriend, Michael, by my side through it all and consider him my closest family member. He has been with me through the tears, pushed me to follow my dreams, made me laugh when I was stressed and still loved me through it all. If that's not family, I don't know what is.

Current occupation?

I am the gallery curator of Milwaukee's Tenth Street Gallery, teach at the Art Institute of Wisconsin and just finished a contract position as a color specialist for Kohl's Corporate.

Past jobs?

I was a mechanic in the Army, picked strawberries when I was 13 years old, cleaned hotel rooms, was a librarian for the UWM art library, did preschool photography and was a day-care teacher, among many other things.


I have a cat and her name is Meow Meow, although she doesn't recognize that name and only responds to the sound of cat food being opened.


My family and closest friends call me Mir. My childhood nickname was Twanky, because I was cranky and the only way to make me happy was to feed me Twinkies.

When did you realize you had designer potential?

When I was a little girl I would sketch clothing designs, but being from a small town it seemed like a one in a million chance that I could ever actually achieve that as a career. A friend of mine and I would make videotaped talk shows where we would make funny outfits, critique each other's designs and tell people what they should and shouldn't wear.

First garment you ever made?

In college, I made a vinyl swimsuit made out of suction cups. The project was to create a superhero costume, and I decided that my superhero power would be the power of adhesion.

What's your design training/schooling, etc.?

I went to UWM for Fine Arts with an emphasis in Photography and Fibers.

Have you won any awards for your designs/work related to design?

I won some grants for fibers-related projects in college before I went headfirst into fashion design.

Strengths as a designer?

I enjoy making fun colorful garments that borrow from classic silhouettes and shape but still flatter a modern woman. I can think outside of the box and still stay true to my aesthetic.

Weaknesses as a designer?

I am self-taught, so sometimes I break rules that I didn't know existed and I sometimes do things the hard way, but I absorb new ideas like a sponge and still have room to improve.

What are your influences?

Having worn a military uniform for 8 years while in the Army, I'm definitely influenced by military garments and the concepts of uniforms. I've also been really interested in post-WWII fashion and the classic style of American women during that era.

What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?

The Andrews Sisters, Buddy Holly, Dolly Parton, The Ditty Bops, The Rolling Stones, The New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Die Antwoord.

Item you're most proud of designing?

I created a beautiful, elegant long coat from a wool blanket I purchased from a military-surplus store in Chicago. It's the exact opposite of the utilitarian item that I used to keep warm in the barracks every night.

Favorite designer(s)?

William Morris, a wallpaper designer. Franck Sorbier and Christian Dior are probably my favorite fashion designers.

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Where does Miranda Kay Levy live? Find out here.

Age: ∼30 years old
Hometown: Wilton, WI
Current Residence: Milwaukee, WI

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